NY: "State Issues Rules on Upstate Natural Gas Drilling Near City’s Water"

"After months of deliberations, state environmental regulators on Wednesday released long-awaited rules governing natural gas production in upstate New York, including provisions to oversee drilling operations near New York City’s water supplies.

The regulations, in a report requested last year by Gov. David A. Paterson, do not ban drilling near the watersheds, as many environmental advocates had urged. But the report sets strict rules on where wells can be drilled and requires companies to disclose the chemicals they use.

The prospect of gas drilling in upstate New York has stirred strong opposition from a coalition of environmental groups, city politicians and residents, who fear that expansive operations of this sort could contaminate the city’s drinking water. But it has gained firm supporters upstate who say the economic benefits of a new gas boom far outweigh any potential risks, especially given the weakness of the economy. "
Jad Mouawad reports for the New York Times September 30, 2009.

Source: NYTimes, 10/01/2009